Exclusive | 1977 Yamaha RD400 – Full Custom Smoker from Kickstart Garage

You’ll never forget the smell and sound of your first two-stroke, and here on NeverDropped you have a chance at having your first (or 5th) be something extra special. 

Offered for sale by builder Craig Marleau of Kickstart Garage, is this freshly rebuilt and fully custom Yamaha RD400.

The build began with a nuts-and-bolts teardown of the original bike and a meticulous re-assembly that pays homage to the era and also adds some unique styling that makes this bike turn heads. The bike has less than 500mi on it since the rebuild.

Mechanical work included your usual carb balance, plus re-jetting and being fitted with more attractive pod filters. Exhaust now flows through DG pipes with that unmistakeable 2-stroke geometry.

When new, this 399cc Yama 2 smoker put out 44hp—similar to 4-stroke BMW motors twice that size in the same era. This little bike will probably try to pull your arms off if you twist too hard.

The new custom low-rise bars, seat, and tail light all work together to give the whole package a great cafe/tracker aesthetic. Overall we’re calling this one a street-tracker with a cafe riding position. Couple that with what Craig told us was a 100% “show quality paint job,” we think the bike has something undeniably 1970s about it, while also looking perfectly updated.

And on a personal note, we want to order a whole wardrobe covered the orange/red Yama livery he chose for this build.

Paint fluffing aside, we think our favorite feature is the choice to retain the original wheels, both for aesthetic and historical purposes. This model Yamaha was actually THE FIRST production bike by a major manufacturer ever to ship with cast wheels.

Most of the time you have to wait months for a custom of this quality, but this one is waiting for you to ride away, complete with a clean & current CA (non-op) title.

DM Kickstart Garage on Instagram, or send us a note for more info.

Quick Summary




RD 400 C






Northern California




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